“Nicotine,” January Sketches, 2012

Here is a conceptual poetic sketch I wrote a few nights ago. I haven’t posted any poetry of mine on here for awhile so I’ll liven up the place with this oddity.

“Nicotine,” January Sketches, 2012 

“Moments like these only happen
while smoking cigarettes at midnight”
the man says. we light up.

contemplation and

the pause,
the puff.
fire pours into lungs.
the miasmatic exhale.
fumes curl to disguise our faces.
we squint against the midnight cold –
old weathered men,  gray-faced,
phantoms until a winter
draft diffuses the smoky mask.

ponder among this silence –
but tobacco embers are smoldering,
it is too quiet for us to hear.
the breeze exhales, too,
with our coughing.
we spit in the snow.
then the distant drone of a man
in a pea coat growling along with
music only his plugged-in ears hear.
I salute him, and drag.
and imagine his direction.
he passes back into the solitude of night.

now, in this snow-speckled fantasy,
we substitute the sublime with
bellows of smoke, nerve death
in our ice fingers. we’ll die from
cancer a week before
we reach nirvana.

but the contemplation. It is the
beatitude of now, the thinking
about thinking. the deepest
truth. we smoke again and again.
winter floats about the fleeting,
crippled illusion of youth.

there is no romance in a spell that
shows us there is a way to go on
but never get away.


2 thoughts on ““Nicotine,” January Sketches, 2012

  1. I can really see this poem, like actually SEE it. I often try to explain to people that so much more than the nicotine itself, the addictive thing about smoking is the feeling you get when you have the cigarette, when an invisible bubble gets created around you, separating you from the world and allowing your thoughts to wander where they may. This poem brought back a lot of memories from times like that. I love the combination of dreamy, hazy words and harsh truth. Good work.

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